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What have we learned about communication inequalities during the H1N1 pandemic: a systematic review of the literature.

Lin L, Savoia E, Agboola F, Viswanath K - BMC Public Health (2014)

Bottom Line: Consistent results were reported on the association between social determinants of communication inequalities and emergency preparedness outcomes.When addressed in communication interventions, these factors can increase the effectiveness of the response to pandemics.Our findings show the need to include such evidence found in the development of future communication campaigns to ensure the highest rates of compliance with recommended protection measures and reduce communication inequalities during future emergencies.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Landmark Center, 3rd Floor East, Boston MA 02115, USA. llin@hsph.harvard.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: During public health emergencies, public officials are busy in developing communication strategies to protect the population from existing or potential threats. However, a population's social and individual determinants (i.e. education, income, race/ethnicity) may lead to inequalities in individual or group-specific exposure to public health communication messages, and in the capacity to access, process, and act upon the information received by specific sub-groups- a concept defined as communication inequalities.The aims of this literature review are to: 1) characterize the scientific literature that examined issues related to communication to the public during the H1N1 pandemic, and 2) summarize the knowledge gained in our understanding of social determinants and their association with communication inequalities in the preparedness and response to an influenza pandemic.

Methods: Articles were searched in eight major communication, social sciences, and health and medical databases of scientific literature and reviewed by two independent reviewers by following the PRISMA guidelines. The selected articles were classified and analyzed in accordance with the Structural Influence Model of Public Health Emergency Preparedness Communications.

Results: A total of 118 empirical studies were included for final review. Among them, 78% were population-based studies and 22% were articles that employed information environment analyses techniques. Consistent results were reported on the association between social determinants of communication inequalities and emergency preparedness outcomes. Trust in public officials and source of information, worry and levels of knowledge about the disease, and routine media exposure as well as information-seeking behaviors, were related to greater likelihood of adoption of recommended infection prevention practices. When addressed in communication interventions, these factors can increase the effectiveness of the response to pandemics.

Conclusions: Consistently across studies, a number of potential predictors of behavioral compliance to preventive recommendations during a pandemic were identified. Our findings show the need to include such evidence found in the development of future communication campaigns to ensure the highest rates of compliance with recommended protection measures and reduce communication inequalities during future emergencies.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Structural Influence Model (SIM) of communication inequalities.
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Figure 1: Structural Influence Model (SIM) of communication inequalities.

Mentions: To characterize the articles the following criteria were used: country of origin of the first author, methodological approach (i.e. empirical studies and information environment analysis – a systematic analysis of news content on H1N1 on different information channels), study design (e.g. case study, cross sectional, experimental), data gathering methods (e.g. survey, interview, focus group) and when focused on a population study: sampling methodology (e.g., cluster, convenience, census-based). Subsequently, data were extracted from the articles using the Structural Influence Model (SIM) of PHEP Communications (Figure 1)[11,16] developed by Viswanath K. et al. This model is a heuristic framework developed to link social determinants with PHEP outcomes through PHEP communications. The articles were reviewed and coded searching for evidence of the potential association between social determinants, attitudes and beliefs, and communication and PHEP outcomes as outlined in the model. Coding agreement between the two reviewers was 90%. Disagreements were resolved through discussion between the reviewers. Descriptive statistics were performed using STATA College Station, Texas, release 12 to identify how frequently specific variables proposed in the SIM had been investigated in the empirical studies.


What have we learned about communication inequalities during the H1N1 pandemic: a systematic review of the literature.

Lin L, Savoia E, Agboola F, Viswanath K - BMC Public Health (2014)

Structural Influence Model (SIM) of communication inequalities.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4048599&req=5

Figure 1: Structural Influence Model (SIM) of communication inequalities.
Mentions: To characterize the articles the following criteria were used: country of origin of the first author, methodological approach (i.e. empirical studies and information environment analysis – a systematic analysis of news content on H1N1 on different information channels), study design (e.g. case study, cross sectional, experimental), data gathering methods (e.g. survey, interview, focus group) and when focused on a population study: sampling methodology (e.g., cluster, convenience, census-based). Subsequently, data were extracted from the articles using the Structural Influence Model (SIM) of PHEP Communications (Figure 1)[11,16] developed by Viswanath K. et al. This model is a heuristic framework developed to link social determinants with PHEP outcomes through PHEP communications. The articles were reviewed and coded searching for evidence of the potential association between social determinants, attitudes and beliefs, and communication and PHEP outcomes as outlined in the model. Coding agreement between the two reviewers was 90%. Disagreements were resolved through discussion between the reviewers. Descriptive statistics were performed using STATA College Station, Texas, release 12 to identify how frequently specific variables proposed in the SIM had been investigated in the empirical studies.

Bottom Line: Consistent results were reported on the association between social determinants of communication inequalities and emergency preparedness outcomes.When addressed in communication interventions, these factors can increase the effectiveness of the response to pandemics.Our findings show the need to include such evidence found in the development of future communication campaigns to ensure the highest rates of compliance with recommended protection measures and reduce communication inequalities during future emergencies.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Landmark Center, 3rd Floor East, Boston MA 02115, USA. llin@hsph.harvard.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: During public health emergencies, public officials are busy in developing communication strategies to protect the population from existing or potential threats. However, a population's social and individual determinants (i.e. education, income, race/ethnicity) may lead to inequalities in individual or group-specific exposure to public health communication messages, and in the capacity to access, process, and act upon the information received by specific sub-groups- a concept defined as communication inequalities.The aims of this literature review are to: 1) characterize the scientific literature that examined issues related to communication to the public during the H1N1 pandemic, and 2) summarize the knowledge gained in our understanding of social determinants and their association with communication inequalities in the preparedness and response to an influenza pandemic.

Methods: Articles were searched in eight major communication, social sciences, and health and medical databases of scientific literature and reviewed by two independent reviewers by following the PRISMA guidelines. The selected articles were classified and analyzed in accordance with the Structural Influence Model of Public Health Emergency Preparedness Communications.

Results: A total of 118 empirical studies were included for final review. Among them, 78% were population-based studies and 22% were articles that employed information environment analyses techniques. Consistent results were reported on the association between social determinants of communication inequalities and emergency preparedness outcomes. Trust in public officials and source of information, worry and levels of knowledge about the disease, and routine media exposure as well as information-seeking behaviors, were related to greater likelihood of adoption of recommended infection prevention practices. When addressed in communication interventions, these factors can increase the effectiveness of the response to pandemics.

Conclusions: Consistently across studies, a number of potential predictors of behavioral compliance to preventive recommendations during a pandemic were identified. Our findings show the need to include such evidence found in the development of future communication campaigns to ensure the highest rates of compliance with recommended protection measures and reduce communication inequalities during future emergencies.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus